Creating an Effective Headline
I'm Karen Peterson, and I'll be working with you over the next several weeks to help you learn English and create your professional ePortfolio so that you can successfully market yourself online. And, according to Forbes, almost 60% of all people that do the hiring for their company are more impressed by potential employee's personal website than any other form of branding. The headline in your ePortfolio will help you brand yourself in an effective manner because it is a quick way to include valuable, positive information about you.
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Hello, and welcome to our course Build Your Professional ePortfolio in English. I’m Karen Peterson, and I’ll be working with you over the next several weeks to help you learn English and create your professional ePortfolio so that you can successfully market yourself online. We’re going to learn about the various parts of e-portfolios and how to use the appropriate language to go along with it. Before we start, what is an e-portfolio and why would you need one? An e-portfolio is an electronic web-based collection of your work that shows what you’ve learned and what you’ve accomplished. It could be in the form of a website, or a blog, and will need to clearly show who you are as a professional. Many universities in the United States are now promoting their students to have an ePortfolio created before they graduate. And, according to Forbes, almost 60% of all people that do the hiring for their company are more impressed by potential employee’s personal website than any other form of branding. Just 7%, however, have their own site. Therefore, by the end of this course, you should have an ePortfolio in English to put you in that 7%, and increase your chances of professional success. In this module, we’re going to learn how to write a headline and a summary of your capabilities for your ePortfolio. These two parts of your ePortfolio focus on presenting yourself in an effective manner. In this particular lesson, we’re going to give you valuable information on how to create a headline, which not only tells others the purpose, and serves as a title of your ePortfolio, but also gives the first impression. So, let’s start by learning how to write your headline. Take a look at this picture. Why is the coffee on the right more than double the price of the coffee on the left? This is a result fo branding. Branding is important for a company and it’s also important for your ePortfolio. The headline in your ePortfolio will help you brand yourself in an effective manner because it is a quick way to include valuable, positive information about you. We’ll create this headline by going through a four-step process. Step one is about choosing a job title. Step two is about an action verb that best describes what you do. Step three is about choosing the object of the action verb. And, step four is about choosing the purpose of your actions. So first, let’s select the job title. Students often confuse fields of study and job titles. In English, fields of study normally take -ing or -ics endings, like engineering and mathematics. In addition, some majors can also take the word science in the end, like computer science or animal science. However, job titles normally take -ian, -ant, -er, or -ist endings, like in mathematician, consultant, engineer, or biologist. Therefore, to write your headline correctly include the job title as the first word of the sentence. Including the correct job title improves your chances of being seen by the right recruiters. As an example, we’re going to help Bob write his headline. So, which one of three can be Bob’s title? Mechanical engineer or mechanical engineering? If you picked A, you were correct. Also, if you notice these examples, you need to begin each word with a job title with a capital letter. The second step is choosing the correct action verb to describe what you do. Action verbs are verbs that refer to an action like working or managing. There are several action verbs for each specific field to write your headline, select the action verb that best matches your field. You can look at the categories here and choose the word that fits what you do at work. For example, if you’re a teacher the words teaching or educating would be a great choice. Now, if you’re a manger the word supervising would also fit your headline well. What is important is that you select an action verb that fits your job and sounds sophisticated. In Bob’s case, since he’s a mechanical engineer let’s choose the action verb maintaining. Bob’s headline so far should now look like this. The third step is to choose the object of the action verb. To find the object of an action verb let’s go back to one of our examples. For a teacher, we chose the word teaching for the list of verbs. The question you should ask yourself is what does a teacher teach. In my case I could write the answer as Teacher: Teaching English as a Second Language. English as a Second Language would be the object of my actions. In Bob’s case you can ask yourself, what does Bob maintain? As a mechanical engineer, he could maintain factory systems, water systems, or machinery. So, Bob’s headline up to step three can now look like this. Be as specific as possible when following this third step. Writing it correctly will make it easier for potential recorders to know what you’ve been working on. Now to complete your headline, you want to think about the purpose of the action. So, ask the question with why to your words on your headline. For instance, why does Bob, a mechanical engineer, maintain water treatment systems? The answer to that question could be to keep people healthy or to provide the cleanest water. In my case, the reason why I teach English as a second language is to help international students. Let’s think together about the next example. We have a Marketing Manager who supervises ad campaigns. Try to complete this headline with the best purpose. There are many ways to write the purpose. But, the general form is going to include to + verb. This final step of writing the purpose at the end of your headlines is a great way to market yourself. It shows that you’re a committed and a reliable professional. So now, Bob’s full headline should look like this. We now have reached the end of our lesson. In this lesson, we’ve learned how to write an effective headline for your e portfolio. Your headline should now include the job title, an action verb describing what you do, an object for the action verb, and the purpose. In resources, you’ll find practical information on how to choose an ePortfolio site and a list of job titles. If you don’t have a space online already, take this opportunity to create an ePortfolio site and start updating it with a great headline.
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